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Ian Hunter – Defiance Part 2: Fiction

Ian Hunter - Defiance Part 2: Fiction

What’s life without friends to share it with? Well, depending on your choice of friends, it’s less time spent on the phone asking them to return the money you lent them two Christmases ago and fewer times having to pick them up from the door of the penitentiary.

But, now that I have mentioned this, I realise a lot of these events can be avoided. Just pick better friends. What about the kinds of friends who are talented and ambitious and come to your aid when you need them? What about the kinds of friends that you can share the burdens of life and have a few laughs with along the way? 

These are the kinds that Ian Hunter has accumulated. And, even though some of them might be guesting on the album “Defiance Part 2: Fiction,” only for the chance to be in the near vicinity of one of classic rock’s great musicians, the man who wrote “Bastard,” they’re bringing their skill and a good-time attitude to boot. 

For this whole tale to make sense, there are a few things we need to get clear straightaway. First of all, Ian Hunter is pretty angry these days. That’s perfect. It’s when he is enraged that the former Mott the Hoople singer makes his best work. This is the accompanying record to last year’s “Defiance Part 1.” 

The second part should be easier to wrap your head around, and that’s the fact that Hunter’s been able to call upon quite the gallery of famous friends for these tunes. There’s guitar wizard Jeff Beck, making one of his final appearances. There are great singers like Robin Zander, Joe Elliott or Lucinda Williams sharing the mic. Johnny Depp even steps over to provide some guitar licks and help out with the artwork. 

That’s a fine PR statement, but are the songs any good? The thing about Hunter is that he’s always been an interesting character. This has been the starting point of most of his songs. Through the years, it’s been easy to miss some of their finer qualities because of the pleasant glam-rock glitter he applies to most of them. 

Opening track, “People”, features some of the best melodies of Hunter’s discography as the ageing singer complains about marketing people trying to give people what they want. It features Cheap Trick and Joe Elliott, and it’s a track worthy of inclusion on Hunter’s best-of playlists. 

The mood is kept the same throughout most of the track. “Fiction” is a song about the loss of identity in the digital age, the acoustic-based “The 3rd Rail” is a mournful remembrance, while “This Ain’t Rock And Roll” recalls the musicians’ boogie-rock from the era of “You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic.”

Yes, there’s plenty of fury to be vented by the songwriter here, but Hunter knows fans will require some good times if they are to stick around. He assembles a dream team that includes Queen’s Brian May and the all-too-soon departed Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins for the glam-rock stomp of “Precious.” He puts Stone Temple Pilots to work on “Weed,” and the cheeky blues sound about as natural as they get. And he leans on Waddy Wachtel’s exceptional rhythm guitar work for “Everybody’s Crazy But Me.” 

Yeah, anger is an energy, and by the sounds of it, it’s helping Ian Hunter get up in the morning and put pen to paper on songs designed to rival his best work. But man can’t leave grudges alone. The closing track shows where the singer really is these days. For “Hope,” Hunter gets Lucinda Williams and Billy Bob Thornton to harmonise over a ballad about better days sneaking just around the corner. 

It pays to have good friends and to keep yourself going. Ian Hunter was in a fight with enemies throughout most of his recording career. I’m glad to report that the boxing gloves have not come off. 

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About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website www.alt77.com. Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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